Oregon State Journal (Eugene OR), Sep 14, 1878, pg 3.
“Died, in this city, September 8, 1878, after an illness of 41 hours, Rev. H.G. Davenport, aged 55 years and 3 months. Deceased was a native of Ohio. He went to Iowa in early life where he married and lived for a number of years. He crossed the plains with his family to California in 1865, whence he came to Oregon three years ago, since which time he has been a resident of Eugene City. He made a profession of the religion of the cross when he was 15 years age and since then has been a member of the Baptis[t] Church, and for eighteen years an ordained minster of the gospel. In this work of the ministry he has labored in several different States, but principally in Iowa, California and Oregon. He served three years in the Federal Army during the late war.
As a man and a citizen, our departed brother was respected by all who knew him. As a friend and companion, he was warm hearted and genial. As a Christian, he walked worthy of the vocation wherewith he was called. As a minster, he was earnest, able and zealous for the cause of his Master.
The funeral was conducted from the Baptist church, and was largely attended by all classes of the community. Not only his family, who have the sympathy of all his friends, but the church and community are bereft of a useful member.
His sickness was pronounced by the physician the congestion of the blood. He was stricken down as a paralysis about three miles from his home and was not again conscious. The day before he was stricken down he spoke of feeling unusually well; and on the same day was prosecuting his business with his accustomed zeal. His sudden taking off is peculiarly sad and may well impress us with the uncertainty of life. P. “
This obituary is a perfect example of some of early obituaries I have come across. They are long – but really don’t give us much vital record types of information we hope to find in an obituary. For example it says that he was married, but no specifics about her are given. Was she still alive? What was her name? Did they have any children? We know that he was a good person as there are three paragraphs on this, but we family historians want the facts! Nevertheless there are some clues worth further investigation. I would begin by looking at the cemetery records. The headstone looked newer than 1878, compared to other stones in the area. I would check for a state-wide marriage index for Iowa. Because he was an ordained minister, are there Baptist Church records available? Does the local Baptist Church have any records for him? Federal Army military records? – A few ideas for the researcher to begin with.